Controversy
In the episode, which was aired on January 6, Hardik Pandya made remarks that were sexist, misogynist and racist.
Screenshot courtesy: Hotstar

After cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul came under fire for the former’s problematic comments on Koffee With Karan, Hotstar, the platform that streams the talk show, has pulled the episode down from the website. The episode, which was aired on January 6, saw Hardik make remarks that were sexist, misogynist and racist.

“I am little from the Black side, so I need to see how they (women) move” was one of the answers when show host Karan Johar asked him about why he does not ask the names of the women he meets at nightclubs. Hardik also bragged about his family’s ‘pride’ regarding his dating life and promiscuity while being degrading towards women.

These comments caused justifiable outrage, after which Hardik issued a statement later, saying that he did not intend to hurt anyone and had simply gotten carried away with the format of the show.

“After reflecting on my comments on Koffee with Karan, I would like to apologise to everyone concerned who I may have hurt in any way. Honestly, I got a bit carried away with the nature of the show. In no way did I mean to disrespect or hurt anyone's sentiments. Respect,” Pandya wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

However, the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India Constitution) was not satisfied. Declaring that Hardik’s apology was not enough, the body served a show cause notice to both Hardik and KL Rahul on Wednesday, giving them 24 hours to respond. BCCI said that Hardik has not been respectful and mindful to his responsibilities as an international cricketer and had made extremely problematic statements on important issues like being respectful towards women.

According to the latest reports, it has also been inferred that the BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (CoA) can suspend the two cricketers for their conduct on the show as well. Further, a two-ODI match ban on the players by the CoA.

The chief of BCCI's Committee of Administrators (COA) Vinod Rai, in an email conversation with CoA member Diana Eduljee on Thursday, suggested they be banned from two-One Day Internationals (ODIs).

"I have seen the remarks made by these two players on the show in print today. Very crass. No apology can cover it. I had asked Diana to suggest penalty because I had not seen the clip. I think we need to give both of them a two-match suspension," Rai told IANS over email.

Their conduct also earned them a rap from skipper Virat Kohli. The Indian cricket team captain on Friday denounced the statements made by the duo on the show and said the team management is still waiting for a decision on the duo.

Terming the comments "inappropriate", the 30-year-old skipper said the belief in the dressing room is completely different from the individual comments of the two young players. "We, as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers, do not support such views," Kohli said ahead of the first ODI against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). "The two players concerned have realised what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude of what has happened," he said.

(IANS inputs)